Out of the Wings

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Ana Istarú

Personal information
Surname: Istarú
First name: Ana
Born: 1960, , Costa Rica

Ana Istarú is an award-winning poet, actress and dramatist.  She has published six poetry collections, some of which have appeared in translation and in bilingual editions.  Her work has been performed in Spanish and in translation in Latin America, the United States and Spain. She has also written the award-winning Costa Rican film, Caribe, directed by Esteban Ramírez. In 1990 she was awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation grant.


Istarú examines gender relations within Latin American culture and society.  Her drama offers a critique of language and taboos in relation to female sexuality as well as an exposition of women’s experience within the family unit with a particular emphasis on the erotic.  Istarú draws on the stories of powerful historical and mythical women in her work. 


Istarú’s drama is heavily satirical and tends towards the metatheatrical.  At times her characters address the audience directly, in the style of an informal conversation.  Istarú’s sources for her drama are varied, sometimes using excerpts from interviews as well as journalistic and academic texts.  

Plays in the database
Other works
  • Istarú, Ana. 1984. El vuelo de la grulla, The Flight of the Crane (in Spanish)

  • Istarú, Ana. 1996. Madre nuestra que estás en la tierra, Our Mother who art on the Earth (in Spanish)

  • Istarú, Ana. 1996. Baby Boom en el paraíso, Baby Boom in Paradise (in Spanish)

  • Istarú, Ana. 2004. Sexus benedictus (in Spanish)

  • Istarú, Ana. 2005. La loca, The Madwoman (in Spanish)

  • Istarú, Ana. 2008. La cuna, The Cradle (in Spanish)

Useful reading and websites
  • Milleret, Margo. 2004. Latin American Women on/in Stages. New York, State University of New York Press

Entry written by Gwendolen Mackeith. Last updated on 16 May 2012.

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